This was a weekend of firsts for the UCLA women’s water polo team.
They played their first game in Dirks Pool this season – their first home game in more than two months – and took home their first conference win of the season.
No. 4 UCLA (18-3, 1-1 MPSF) bested No. 21 San Jose State (8-13, 0-1) at Spieker Aquatics Center on Sunday 15-4.
“I’m alway excited to get a (win),” said senior utility Alexis Angermund. “But it highlighted a lot of areas that we need to work on in the coming weeks of practice. We go into every game with a nameless opponent – we are playing ourselves.”
The Bruins held the Spartans to just one goal in the first quarter, one in the third, and two in the fourth. UCLA tallied three goals before San Jose State’s first point was scored, and the Bruins had 10 points before another Spartan goal was made.
In the first quarter, freshman attacker Myna Simmons scored first for UCLA, followed by two goals by Angermund. San Jose State’s 2-meter Tyanna Supreme scored the final goal of the quarter, to bring the score to 3-1 in favor of UCLA.
“I never think about individual statistics,” Angermund said. “Every game is all about team improvement, how can we become better.”
The second quarter saw goals by junior defender Kelsey Blacker, sophomore attacker Maddie Musselman, junior defender Rachel Whitelegge, and junior attacker Lizette Rozeboom. The quarter ended with the score at 7-1.
Senior attacker Devin Grab increased the Bruin lead just 29 seconds into the second half, and Angermund scored her third goal of the game less than a minute later to tie her season best. Rozeboom and Musselman each scored their second goals of the game in the third quarter as well.
“We’ve been working on our front attack a lot in practice, and on having better structure,” Grab said. “We wanted to get some back line goals and do better on 5-on-6, and I think it showed.”
UCLA scored six of their 15 goals and San Jose scored two of their four goals while in 6-on-5 situations.
Once again, Grab scored a quarter-opening goal to begin the fourth quarter. Blacker followed with her second goal of the game, making her the fourth Bruin to score more than once. Freshman attacker Lexi Liebowitz scored her first goal of the game and sophomore attacker Emily Skelly wrapped up the scoring at 15-4.
“The challenge for us is always this: Can we be consistent in how we want to play?” said coach Adam Wright. “We didn’t get off to the best start with our energy, but we were able to turn it around. There were a lot of positives today.”